Boy meets girl. Boy and girl discover they have everything in common and want the same out of life. They live happily ever after. Boring – a story that can be summed up in one paragraph.
Conflict is not necessarily hard to find or think of – but often there is a problem with a plausible easy solution. Your hero or heroine might be angry or sullen throughout the story when a simple conversation might clear up the whole conflict. The reader becomes irritated and even dislikes your character.
On the other hand some make their main character perfect. That type of character can fast become disliked as well as boring. We are all human. We all make mistakes, some more than others. Mistakes and opposing beliefs are the easiest way to create conflict, especially in romance. Being attracted to someone then seeing they are not who thought they were is another. Now your heroine is fighting not only her attraction, but your hero’s behavior as well.
I used this in Alberta Wild Rose. My heroine starts out as a naive, sheltered girl falling in love with a completely inappropriate man. As she sees his flaws and grows she also must fight her attraction, she can’t change.
There are many outside factors to create conflict as well. Some story lines have been over used as far as I can see. Watch carefully to make sure you don’t make your heroine silly or even stupid when created hacked conflicts. If she likes dogs and he likes cats – that can be easily resolved I think. It is a very weak conflict. If an outside event like war is written into a story – that might be easier – but again make sure you aren’t stretching too far. An American spy falling in love with a German girl in WWII could happen. But to keep a regular army soldier in Germany long enough to create a romance before the war ended might be stretching reality?
So goes the challenges of a writer. If you can – without stretching the imagination too far and making it somewhat believable – you might be successful.
Today, I find there is an unbelievable amount of hostility in different beliefs creating unnecessary problems. I also believe some are coming across as silly and not believable. Their beliefs are so ridiculous and make me laugh not sympathize. Laughter/humor is a very good tool for writer’s – but laughing at someone or with someone are two different types. I don’t find unwarranted, weak hostility that appealing. I want my characters to at least show some respect/not abuse towards each other regardless of their beliefs.
Reality is money being a very large reason for fighting. Yet it is not commonly used.